11 Little Known Google Search Tricks You Should Know

Google is the search engine that we all know and love, but most of us are barely scratching the surface of what this amazing tool can really accomplish. In this article, we're going to look at eleven little-known Google search tricks that will save you time, energy, and maybe even a little bit of cash. Some of these are just for fun (like making Google do a barrel roll), others can help you make better purchasing decisions, take major shortcuts, or dig up information on your favorite band, author, or even favorite foods.

01
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Don't buy it until you Google it

shopping

When you're looking to purchase something from your favorite e-commerce store on the Web, don't click on that final checkout button until you've searched for the name of the store plus the word coupon. These promo codes can help you get free shipping, a percentage off your purchase, or entitle you to future savings. It's always worth a look!

02
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Find works from your favorite authors and artists

books

Find all the books your favorite author has ever written simply by typing in "books by", then your author's name. You can do this with albums ("albums by") as well. This is a great way to find past works (or future works) that you might not be aware of.

03
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Find the origins of common words

dictionary

Find out the origins - or etymology - of a specific word by typing in the word plus "etymology. For example, if you type in "flour etymology" you'll see that it is Middle English: a specific use of flower in the sense ‘the best part,’ used originally to mean ‘the finest quality of ground wheat’....The spelling flower remained in use alongside flour until the early 19th cent."

04
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Compare the nutritional value of one food with another

Recipe
Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Not sure if that piece of pizza is going to be better for you than say a cup of broccoli? Ask Google to compare the nutritional value by typing in "pizza vs. broccoli", or anything else you'd like to compare. Google will come back with all pertinent nutritional and caloric information - it's up to you what you choose to do with that information, of course.

05
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Listen to songs by your favorite artist

Music

If you want to listen to a particular song by your favorite artist, or maybe even explore their discography, just type in "artist" and "songs", i.e., "Carole King songs". You'll get a complete list of songs, plus videos and biographical information. You can also listen to the songs right there within your Web browser; note that this feature isn't always available for all artists.

06
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Find what those symptoms are similar to

medical

Type in something you're experiencing health-wise, and Google will list out similar diagnoses based on what you're experiencing. For example, a search for "headache with eye pain" brings back "migraine", "cluster headache", "tension headache", etc. NOTE: This information is not meant to substitute for that of a licensed medical provider.

07
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Use Google as a timer

Timer
Credit: Flashpop

Need to keep those cookies from burning while you're browsing your favorite sites? Simply type "set timer for" whatever amount of minutes you're looking to keep track of and Google will run it in the background. If you attempt to close the window or tab that is running the timer, you'll get a popup alert asking if you really want to do that.

08
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Make Google do tricks

barrel roll

There are a multitude of fun tricks that you can make Google do with just a couple simple instructions:

  • Type in "do a barrel roll" or "Z or R twice", and Google will rotate the results page a full 360 degrees. 
  • Type in "tilt" or "askew", and your page 'leans' to the right a bit. Searching for anything else via Google puts it back to where it was.
  • Type in  "zerg rush" and your search page returns with 'O's eating the search results. Clicking each 'O' three times stops this.
09
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Find the roster of any sports team

sports

Get a detailed roster breakdown of your favorite sports team simply by typing in "team roster" (substituting the name of your team for the word "team"). You'll see a full-page color roster, with player information.

10
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Find a quote

quotes

Use quotation marks to search for an exact quote and its origin. For example, if you knew the partial lyrics to a song, but weren’t sure of the singer or the songwriter, you could simply frame the snippet that you did know in quotation marks and plug it into Google. More often than not, you’ll receive the full song lyrics as well as author, when it was first released, and other identifying information.

11
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Find related sites

top ten search tips

Using Google, you can use a little known command that will bring up sites related to a specified site. This comes in handy especially if you really enjoy a particular site, and you’d like to see if there are others that are similar. Use “related:” to find sites that are similar; for example, “related:nytimes.com”.